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Minnesota National Guard
The American Dream: Making Each Generation Better For The Next

Minnesota National Guard Army Maj Eduardo Suarez, Chief of Current Operations for the Minnesota National Guard and Golden Valley, Minn resident, has served for 25 years in the military Although his dad was in the Air Force, the military wasn't always the path he had pictured for himself 

"I was 16 and hanging with a rough group of kids," recalled Suarez, "My mother said, 'Get him involved in shooting' "

His father started target shooting with him His father, Albert Suarez, had competed as a collegiate athlete on the Air Force Marksmanship team

"By age 18, I was living in Colorado Springs, training at the Olympic Training Center," said Suarez 

What started as a fun hobby led to Suarez being selected as an alternate for the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea and competing internationally for 12 years 

"That was my ticket into the Army," said Suarez "A lot of the guys and gals on the Olympic marksmanship teams were also military  They were from the Air Force, Marine Corps and Army teams, which all had their own marksmanship programs"

He began to be approached by military marksmanship teams to compete with them, but he didn't start to consider it until after returning from the 1988 Winter Olympics in Seoul, Korea When he returned he enlisted and shipped out in January 1989 His first assignment was at a US Army Marksmanship unit at Ft Benning, Ga In 1993, Suarez commissioned as an officer in the Army National Guard Since then he has served in various leadership roles and has been deployed once to Bosnia and twice to Iraq

He attributes his success to a line of hard-workers who believed in making each generation better for the next His grandfather, an immigrant from Mexico, came to the US to work hard and provide a better life for his family, believing you get what you achieve in life based on your labor, merits and what you put into your work 

"My father was a living example of that," said Suarez "He served five years in the Air Force and earned his four-year degree in three years while working nights at a cannery That story really instilled in a strong work ethic for me"

Suarez recently saw how his journey could make an impact on others within the Latino community 

"During a conversation with a gentleman from Guatemala, I happened to be in uniform and it dawned on me how other Latinos looked at me as a role model when I wear the uniform"

Since that experience, Suarez is taking steps to further embrace his Latino culture, becoming more involved and active within the community

"My grandparent's journey is probably not more unique than any other immigrant who comes here, making something of themselves and taking advantage of what America has to offer The key is what the next generation does with it," said Suarez

Jan 29, 2014
Story by Army Sgt Dajon Ferrell
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs

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Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.

Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.

Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.

Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."

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